Faculty meeting regarding the announcement of Dr. William H. Masterson appointment, Rice University
An auditorium in the Rice University Chemistry building, filled with faculty, during the meeting at which Dr. William H. Masterson was announced as the next president of the University. The announcement led to a controversy which ultimately ended in Dr. Masterson stepping down after only a few days as president. Photographed by Alexander Dessler, a faculty member with Rice University’s Space Physics and Astronomy Department. Original resource is a color slide.
A five-day controversy rose on the campus of Rice University in February 1969 following the appointment of Dr. William H. Masterson by the Board of Trustees as the university’s new President to succeed Kenneth Pitzer, who had resigned in August 1968. Members of the faculty and student body protested in particular the method by which Masterson had been appointed, which was perceived as a unilateral decision by the Board without sufficient consultation with the committee of faculty and students appointed earlier by the Board to assist in suggesting and screening candidates’ names. A variety of personal objections to Masterson himself were also voiced, along with concern about appointment of a President from within the university (Masterson was a former graduate of Rice who had joined the faculty in the Department of History in 1951 and served later as Dean of Humanities before leaving Rice in 1966 to serve as President of the University of Chattanooga). As a result of the pressure created by the protests and by a campus-wide poll conducted among students and faculty (results of which were made known to Masterson), the controversy ended with Masterson’s resignation as President on February 25th, five days after his appointment had been announced.
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/88524
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